You may think that the word “epic” is overused. According to Google, that term peaked in the early 60’s and has been in steady decline ever since even with a brief plateau over the .com era. Even Prohibition was more epic than we are today. I find that a little surprising since we’re in the age of YOLO and seem to be in a disruptive time of entrepreneurship. A bit of research less scientific than searching the world’s literature for a specific word yields the following from Urban Dictionary. Maybe I’m old school, but using a little box in a browser to get a graph of a single term over the course history feels worthy of the term epic. Why does epic have to be an epic fail?
The reason that the E word is top of mind for me is that I just had a pretty epic weekend. I didn’t put a man on the moon, that may have been what made the mid 60’s pretty awesome. I did have a terrific few days which impacted a few lives (including my own) and gave me a great deal of satisfaction. The big thing that happened was a trip to Dallas to ride the MS150. This has become a regular event for me because I get to help put my cousin and spend time with family and an ever growing set of friends.
I’m in pretty good shape but I’m not a marathoner and I don’t do triathlons. Riding a bike 150 miles over two days with constant exposure to sun and wind can definitely seem a daunting because it takes hours and a good bit of effort. There’s always a little wrinkle too. Last year, the temperature on both days started in the 40’s and on Day 1, I rode my legs too hard. That left Day 2 painful and miserable. Two years ago, the end of the first day felt like riding into a giant hair dryer with a heat index nearing 100 degrees and a stiff wind. Three years ago, the entire second day was washed out by a storm. This year, the weather was perfect. I even had a little bonus: I let people who sponsored my fund raising effort choose songs for my playlist on Spotify.
The ride started with my cousin and some friends all gathered near the start of a couple thousand people. We got to roll out smoothly and chatted during the first several miles. I even had Jenny/867-5309 play first which made me smile. Over the course of the day, I mostly rode in front and pulled another couple people with me. It took additional effort, but I always felt like I had more in the tank. I even pushed at the end to try to raise my average speed. Any time you see something like this at the end of an 85 mile ride which you enjoyed, you simply have to feel great.
Day 2 had more song moments and I rode strong through the day. There was even a section at the 50 mile mark when I was going nearly twice as fast as I had the previous year in the cold. Everything clicked. I was able to help out friends who needed it and spend time relaxing instead of straining to make the finish. Day 2 on the bike.
There were many many people who worked hard and finished the ride. What made it epic for me was that I had trained for the event and enjoyed every minute of it. I posted pictures along the way and had retweets/likes from people I’d never met who struggle every day with MS. The people I knew and met on the ride all felt like they’d accomplished something beyond the 150 miles.
Epic doesn’t have to be historic and it also doesn’t have to feel overused. Epic can be in the moment of achievement of a worthwhile task. It can be pushing tired legs to get to that rest stop near the end while listening to Closer to the Edge. It can also be rolling out of that break to On a Good Day. Appreciating what you’ve got is great. Bringing meaning to the moments can make it all epic. Thanks to all the people who supported me and put tunes in my head over the weekend!
It’s never too late to donate – and make me play a song. Have a look at this blog entry and use the link at the bottom.
I've been in the software sales and service industry since 1994. I am an avid biker, father of two, and have been happily married for nearly 25 years. This blog is simply to share some thoughts on what can help make you more aware of yourself and therefore more successful in your interactions.
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